GCN and BCC Road Race 2021

GCN had a team of racers at our Road Race. 

GCN+ will be airing ‘World Tour to Cat 4’ a series of videos charting to progress of the team of rookie racers being coached by a World Tour Team to race in their first road race.

That race was organised by Berkhamsted Cycling Club.

Keep and eye on the GCN+ YouTube Chanel for dates.

Behind the scenes footage can be viewed by clicking here (Google video).

Click below for photos of the day on Flickr.

BCC RR 2021

2021 Road Race

Marine Guerin and Craig Condie victorious at Berkhamsted Cycling Club Road Race on Sunday, July 25.

Full results and race reports (from all of the series races) are available on The British Women’s Team Cup website by clicking here.

Results of the Men’s race are available on the British Cycling website by clicking here.

Click on the photo below for images of the day from Trevor Hill.

BCC RR 2021

Click on the photo below for images of the day from Paul Gardner.

Berkhamsted Cycle Club Mentmore Race

Marine Guerin and Craig Condie victorious at return of local cycling road racing.

Berkhamsted Cycling Club held the region’s first full-capacity cycling road race to take place since first lock-downs began, and Marine Guerin and Craig Condie beat more than 60 and 80 riders respectively to finish first in the women’s and men’s categories.

The two races took place on Sunday, July 25, with both men and women completing 12 laps of a 4.2 mile circuit in Mentmore, Buckinghamshire.

Marine, an investment professional from London, riding for Team Watto LDN, triumphed amid a high-level women’s field, including “elite” category racers (racers who compete one level below the professional ranks). The women’s competition formed part of the country-wide British Women’s Team Cup Series, and was the first Team Cup race to take place at full capacity since the start of the pandemic.

The race itself was very competitive, with women completing laps of the course in times between nine and 12 minutes.

Meanwhile Craig Condie, who rides for Bristol South CC, triumphed in the men’s race. The competition began at a furious pace, and by half way a third of the riders were either out of the race or had been lapped by the leaders. At the end of the men’s race, prizes were given out by Martin Tett, leader of Bucks County Council.

The men’s race was also notable for a team of amateurs entered by broadcaster Global Cycling Network and coached by Tom Southam, a sports director at top professional team EF Education Nippo. Their performance will form part of a forthcoming documentary about grassroots racing to be shown on Global Cycling Network.

Julian Ormerod, chair of Berkhamsted Cycling Club said: “It was hugely exciting for spectators to see such high-level racing. Although for the racers themselves I’m sure the experience was a lot more stressful!

“The race was a huge achievement and a huge relief. It’s our club’s largest annual event but because of Covid we have not been able to put in on for the past year. That piled pressure on our return to racing, and thanks to a huge effort behind the scenes, and our amazing team of volunteers on the day, we were able to go ahead. I’m so glad we did – it is great to see exciting, friendly and competitive grassroots road racing again.”


The two races – open to men in categories 3 and 4 and women in Elite and categories 1, 2 and 3 – take place on largely traffic free roads.

The men’s race starts at 09:30 and the women’s 13:30. HQ is Cheddington Village Hall LU7 0RU that will be open for sign-on from 08:30.

The women’s race is part of the British Women’s Team Cup and will be the first full-capacity race in the series to take place in 2021.

Both events start and finish in Mentmore, Buckinghamshire with a 1.5 mile neutralised  section from the HQ to the start.

For more information, visit British Cycling’s page about the event. The course profile can be viewed on Strava here or on Ride with GPS here.

Broadcaster Global Cycling Network have confirmed they will enter a team of six amateur riders, coached by a Education First  Pro Cycling sports director Tom Southam, in the men’s race.

COVID-19 restrictions will mean some changes to normal logistics and procedure on the day – more information will be made available to entrants nearer the time.

Phil Liggett

The life of legendary television commentator Phil Liggett MBE is inextricably entwined with the history of professional cycling. During a career that has spanned five decades, 15 Olympic games and 47 Tours de France, Phil Liggett has been there for every key moment in cycling over the last half century. The heroic triumphs, the appalling tragedies, the scandals and the controversies; Phil has seen it all, and told us about it with passion, knowledge and his trademark wit. As much as anyone, Phil Liggett has shaped the way the world sees cycling.

His documentary has been released in Australia (as CV-19 restrictions have been relaxed) and has had fantastic reviews.

A release date for the UK is currently unknown but when CV-19 restrictions allow and cinemas are open it will be released.

Phil has also commentated on the Berkhamsted Revolutions Cycling Festival, other local races as well as a talk at BCC and Musette Cafe. Those of you that were at the BCC talk may remember a film crew also being there, the club is in Phil’s documentary film!

For a brief glimpse please view the trailer on YouTube below.

Phil Liggett at his BCC talk

Phil Liggett is Patron of Helping Rhinos Charity

Phil at the BCRF 2018

Phil in his racing days.

BCC Hill Climb 2020


Full field with 100 racers. Awesome day of racing. Photos are here…

Berkhamsted Cycling Club Hill Climb 18102020


Huge thanks to Paul the Organiser, Musette for the HQ, the Time Keepers, the Marshals, the Helpers and the Spectators for the cow bells. See you all next year.

The next event will be the Chiltern Classic Reliability Ride… planned for March 2021. Check back for details after Christmas.

Click here for results at Cycling Time Trials.

The Strava segment is here.

*UPDATE* The women’s winner, Bithja Jones, has also won the 2020 National Hill Climb Championship.

BCC Time Trial 2020

Sunday 27th September 2020 was BCC’s annual 10 mile time trial on the Mentmore Loop.

Click on the photos below to view in Flickr (free to download full size photos).

September 2020 BCC Time Trial

Berkhamsted Cycling Club Time Trial 27 Sept 2020

Click here for photos on Facebook.

Click here for results at Cycling Time Trials.

A windy Berkhamsted Cycling Club Time Trial on Sunday 27th September. A big thank you to all competitors, CTT Timekeepers, Marshall’s and Paul Gardner the race organiser. Putting on an event like this during a global pandemic is not without challenges. Thanks for everyone’s adherence to guidelines, your patience and understanding. Hope you had a good event and see you next year.

Photo credit Trevor Hill.

Ellen Bennett

*Update* Women’s Junior Female Winner Ellen Bennett finishes 2nd in the 2020 National Hill Climb Championships.

BCC racing again

British Cycling and Cycling Time Trials have returned to racing with strict restrictions for Covoid-19 social distancing and tracking. Berkhamsted Cycling Club have been racing in both disciplines.

The Bovingdon Bomber race series organised by Hemel Hempstead Cycling Club (HHCC) was one of the first BC closed road criterium races since March 2020. On Wednesday 5th August Heather and Sarah raced in the women’s category 3/4 event along with the sprint competition. Both had a great time and will be returning for the rest of the series.

The weekly 10 mile time trial (also organised by HHCC) started on Thursday 23rd July. Simon raced on a recently upgraded full-on TT bike and has been setting personal bests. Alan decided to give TT’ing a go and thoroughly enjoyed it.

If you are interested in racing please click here to send an email to our Performance Coordinator Paul Gardner.

The clubs annual time trial is planned to take place on Sunday 27th September. Click here for online entry.

Photo credits to Trevor Hill, Richard Knight and Alastair Cowe.

Sarah and Heather





Rainbow at the Bovingdon Bomber

Zwift and BCC

Many club members have taken to indoor cycling using Zwift to ‘virtually’ meetup with other riders ensuring that the Covoid-19 social distancing Government recommendations are adhered to. This is a great way to chat or message other club riders whilst maintaining fitness and getting in 1 hour’s exercise a day.

Berkhamsted Cycling Club have Zwift group meetup’s on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. If you would like to join in follow ‘Trevor Hill BCC’ on Zwift.

British Cycling Central Region have organised a series of Zwift races for clubs in our area. For more information see their Facebook page here.

British Cycling have also launched a virtual 8 week ride series on Zwift. Click here for more information.

If you are thinking of racing on Zwift then join www.zwiftpower.com as this gives you accurate results, race rankings and you can join Team BCC. 

Atlas Mountain Race 2020

5 days 11 hours 38 minutes is how long it took Nick Clarke to complete the grueling Atlas Mountain Race in February 2020 across the unforgiving Moroccan landscape.

The unsupported fixed route race from Marrakesh to Sidi Rabat is a distance of 1150 km with 20,000 mtrs of climbing in the Atlas Mountains and 3 checkpoints along the way. The clock doesn’t stop until the end.

Nick was racing for Arctic-Aircon Racing Team, one of the longest running UK sponsored/supported race teams with 23 years in British Cycling. Nick is also a founding member of Berkhamsted Cycling Club.

He started the event in full-on race mode and was in the top 20 for most of the race. Nick had to overcome one or two setback’s along the way including a crash, loosing his water bottles, 5 snapped wheel spokes, failure of his bike luggage and saddle sores. However his legs held out fine.

Single-mindedness and determination saw Nick finish in a highly creditable 33rd position.

200 riders started the race and 123 finished with Pro-Continental rider Christen Mayer one of the non-finishers due to saddle sores.

Nick has vowed to return next year or take on another long distance race.

The AMR2020 organisers are broadcasting a video story of the race from Wednesday 20th May 2020 on YouTube.

Have I packed enough spare spokes…

The Start (Nick centre).

Nick and Lloyd


Men’s winner Sofiane Sehili in 3 days 21 hrs 50 min and zero sleep!


Women’s winner Jenny Tough in 6 days 3 hrs 13 mins.


The Bike built by Lovelo Cycle Works

Photo credits to:

Saltlake Lian https://www.instagram.com/saltlake_lian/

Nils Laengner https://www.instagram.com/nils_laengner/

Jonny Hines https://www.instagram.com/jonnyhinesphoto/

Atlas Mountain Race https://atlasmountainrace.cc/

Time Trial 2019

So a gloomy September morning dawned on the day of the BCC TT around Mentmore, one of the clubs well used ride routes, heavy drizzle and standing water was set to greet the 62 brave souls signed up for the annual 10 mile dash, honours and bragging rights at stake.

Just as the cohort of hardy BCC volunteers started to arrive along with the riders the weather brightened, and we could swear blue sky was appearing. A number of riders cited ‘illness’ or an aversion to water so the field finally whittled itself down to around 45 riders departing with guinea pig, endurance junkie and chairman Mike Plowman starting off the affair, with the rest of the field chasing his yellow peril TT bike, a small ray of dwindling brightness up Mentmore Hill in the grey.

Apart from small spill by Simon Pearce by the duck pond who still managed a very creditable 5th overall despite the bumps and road rash the race was uneventful and duly won overall by Nick Clarke in a time of 22:08 at an average of 27 mph or 43.4 kph. For the women Sam Fawcett came home in a time of 25:13, an average of 23.8 mph or 38.3 kph and an 11th overall. (Provisional results).

Winners of the best 3 riders home in a team went to old friends Ashmei Musette Men and Lovelo Squadra Donne Women.

Very positive feedback from all and the HQ at Tracy’s Café put on some fine refreshments. Huge thanks to all the volunteers, marshals and timekeepers.

For more photos of the day on Flickr click here (free to download).

Full results on Cycling Time Trials here.

Nick Clarke Winner Male Open

John Lacey Winner Male Vet

Hary Kirby Winner Male Juniors

Lee Harrison First Male Road Bike

Samantha Fawcett Winner Female Open

Sophie Lewis First Female Junior

Debbie Honour Winner Female Vet

Melinda Atkinson First Female Road Bike

Millie Carey Winner Female Juvenile

Ashmei Musette Race Team Winners Men’s Team

Lovelo Squadra Donne Winners Women’s Team

And last but not least…

Jez Kidd Winner Best Bobble Hat with (L to R) Paul (Organiser) and Mike (Chairman)

Weekend News

BCC members have been around the globe over the summer with riders in Canada, Australia, Spain, France, Italy and our home territory – The Chilterns.

Talking about ‘around the globe’, from 1st Jan to 15th Sept 2019 club members have cycled 516,280kms. That’s over 17 times around the world. Chapeau! These are a few of the activities that members have been up to…

Heather and James competed in the Vitruvian middle distance triathlon and after 2km swim, 52mile bike and a half marathon Heather finished 3rd in her age group and was 8th lady overall. A brilliant result! Heather was spurred on by James who managed to chase her down at 15 miles on the bike after her 10min head start and James smashed 4hrs 30mins!

While the pro-teams were fighting it out at La Vuelta a España, BCC had it’s Vuelta ride with plenty of tapas supplied by Musette Café on a fabulous late summer day.

Nick Clarke (BCC second claim member) and Jonathan Schubert racing for Arctic Aircon rode the Duo Normand 50km 2-up time trial in Marigny, Normandy. They finished in a time of 1hr 9mins 47secs placing them – 3rd Senior category, 4th of all the non-UCI registered professional teams and 17th fastest on the day for professional and non-professional.

James completed the Paris-Brest-Paris 1,200km Audax ride in 85hrs 10mins 32secs. A phenomenal achievement for this ride that’s held every 4 years. Entry can only be gained by completing long distance Audax rides prior to the event. Chapeau from all at the club.

The first round of this seasons Central Cyclo-Cross League (CCXL) kicked of in sunny Milton Keynes with Jez and Stephen racing in the seniors and Tim (Lovelo kit) in the vet 40 age cat. All are racing for BCC and had a great time with Jez happy to have completed the race and Tim finishing mid-field. Stephen put in a strong ride but a puncture sidelined him from a finish. Credit to Keith Perry for the fantastic photos.

Well done to Team Ride 45 (with BCC members) who completed the 12 hour time trial at Brands Hatch and came 1st in their category.

James also raced at Brands Hatch in the Revolve 24 6 hour challenge and completed 100 miles in 5hrs 16mins averaging 19+mph.

Recreating times-gone-by BCC held it’s Eroica style ride taking in some of the rolling Chilterns and ending at Mussette Café. A great time had by all with old steel bikes, finesse gear changing, woolen shorts and toe straps!

Anna 2015
Anna 2019

We are delighted that local lass Anna Henderson has been selected to represent GB at the Cycling World Championships in Yorkshire and the club wish her the best of luck. Anna started racing in 2015 with our local bike shop Lovelo Cycle Works and is currently the under 23 GB National Champ.

If you want to put all that summer training to good use while the professionals are racing in Yorkshire then click here for details of our 10 mile Time Trial on Sunday 29th Sept on the Mentmore loop near Tring HP23 4QR.

BCC Road Race 2019

Berkhamsted Cycling Club Road Race 28th July 2019.
Very close fought finish’s in both the men’s and women’s races with inches separating 1st and 2nd places.

Results are on the British Cycling website here…

For a video of the day on Facebook click here

For photos on Facebook click here.

For photos on Flickr of the men’s race from Trevor Hill click here.

For photos on Flickr of the women’s race from Trevor Hill click here.

For photos of the men’s race from Alistair Crowe click here.

For photos of the women’s race from Alistair Crowe click here.

For more photos of the women’s race on Flickr from Simon Blackwell click here.

A few words from Paul Gardner our Performance Officer, race organiser and owner of Lovetri Swimwerkx

Whilst the rest of the world watched a certain global bike race culminating in a Paris finish, here in Hertfordshire, Berkhamsted Cycling Club were running their own bike race around the Mentmore Countryside. Unlike the Tour de France, their race welcomes women too, men’s in the morning and women’s in the afternoon. After a dreary wet 6 am start for around 40 volunteers gravel brushing, catering and signing the entire route the races commenced with a 50 strong men’s field attacking a 12 lap 80 km loop meandering around Mentmore, starting and finishing on the picturesque Green.

The rolling course, comprising a sharp short hill and a fast descent soon allowed a breakaway of two riders, subsequently caught soon afterwards. 7 riders dropped out or were lapped, as the course made short work of tyres. Maintaining speeds of over 40 kph and kept safe by motorcycle escorts and official cars the riders battled high wind and rain to fight it out in a mass sprint for the finish with first 3 places going to Robert Attreed of Thames Velo, Rodolpho Neils Gervasio, Overseas Rider and local man Joe Nixon of Ashmei Musette Race Team based in Aldbury. Berkhamsted Cycle Club member James Timmis made a little piece of local history by making the top 10 with a hugely creditable 9th in his first race. Berkhamsted Mayor Garrick Stevens was there to make the podium presentations

The afternoon saw an improvement in the weather, with the rain stopping. The women’s race, featuring around 35 women, had a blistering start with newly promoted top rider Fran Cutts pacing hard around the course, subsequently winning the prizes for the two fastest laps. The women splintered into two main groups, with most of the race being fiercely contested by the 20 strong main group, and featuring local rider Rebecca Fawcett of Berkhamsted Lovello Squadra Donne who was never far from the front coming in 14th at the finish. The three women’s winners were Kerry Middleton of Team LDN, Francesca Hall of DAP Cycling Club and Lucy Lee, University of Bath Cycling Club.

Mike Plowman, Chair of Berkhamsted Cycling club commented ‘It was a great fun day for all, with the hard work of the club’s volunteers reflected in the close safe racing we had during the day, truly putting the Berkhamsted Road Race firmly on the UK racing scene’ Paul Gardner, Race Director, commented, We’ve had great feedback from the riders on our safe well organised race, with most saying they’ll be back again next year’

For more info about the race, please email Paul Gardner, our performance coordinator on performance.berkocc@gmail.com

A huge thank you from the club to all racers, marshals, volunteers, commissionaires and helpers. You know who you are and the event wouldn’t have been possible without you.

Lots of positive feedback and see you all again next year!

Racing May 2019

Racing has started in earnest for the 2019 season. A brief roundup of the latest events…

Stephen raced at the local Bovingdon Bomber criterium hosted by HHCC. A great circuit and an easy ride from Berkhamsted.

Julian raced at the Eton Dorney Triathlon Sprint distance and Herts Olympic distance Triathlon in preparation for an upcoming Ironman Race.

Simon raced in the Hemel Hempstaed Cycling Club (HHCC) 10 mile time trial with a very respectable 19th place in a time of 25mins 12secs despite taking a wrong turn and adding almost another mile. He would have been in the top 10 otherwise. Simon is preparing for the Cambridge closed road time trial and hopes to qualify for the UCI finals race.

Second claim member Nick (Arctic Tacx 1st claim) has been training hard over the winter and has seen fantastic gains in time trialing with a 3rd place at the Hitchin Nomads 25 mile, 1st at the HHCC 10 mile and 4th at Hounslow 100 mile with a time of 3hrs 39mins 50secs and averaging 44kmh (27.4mph).

James also raced at the Hitchin TT placing 15th in 58min 16secs with an average of 42kmh (26mph).

Rob has been racing at Milton Keynes Bowl and Richard at Hillingdon criterium circuits. Both easing back into the 2019 series of events.

Lee raced at the West London Combine 25 mile TT with a provisional time of 1hr 2 secs at over 38kmh (24mph)

Photos courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/RknightPhotographer/ , Trevor Hill , Alex Johnson and Arctic Tacx.

Time Trials

The 2019 TT season is well underway and club racers have been in the mix at the Cycling Time Trials London North Millennium series of races.

James Taylor has also entered the Road Time Trial Council (RTTC) National 24 hour Championships on 20th July 2019 held in Merseyside. Taking place just south of Chester the course loops down to Shrewsbury with parts of it on the A41. Almost home from home!

More details on James’s 24 hour race will be published soon.

Results of BCC riders from the London North Millennium TT’s (to 1st May 2019).

Icknield Road Club 30km TT
James Taylor 10th
Nick Clarke racing under Arctic Tacx RT (BCC 2nd claim member) 6th


London Phoenix Cycling Club 10 mile TT
Nick Clarke racing under Arctic Tacx RT (BCC 2nd claim member) 7th
James Taylor 14th

Watford Velo Sport Hilly 21 mile TT
James Taylor 6th
Tim Warrell 27th (10th veteran)

Hemel Hempstead Cycling Club Sid Latchford Hilly 22 mile TT
Nick Clarke racing under Arctic Tacx RT (BCC 2nd claim member) 7th
Heather Taylor 8th Women
James Taylor 11th


Leighton Buzzard Triathlon Club 10 mile TT
Nick Clarke racing under Arctic Tacx RT (BCC 2nd claim member) 2nd
Dave Walden 39th (25th veteran)

Click here for details of Cycling Time Trials events.

Cyclo Cross – Hillingdon

Central Cyclocross League Round 15 – Hillingdon.

Race report from Jez Kidd:

On Sunday 27th January a band of intrepid BCC’ers braved the wind, and the rain, and the wind and the hail, and the wind, and the cold, and the wind, and the mud and very occasionally some pleasant sunshine to compete in the final round of this year’s Central Cyclocross League (CCXL).

Taking part were Robin Lord, in his first CX race of the year, Niamh and Mervyn Dempsey, Janice Bell, who was taking part in her very first ever CX race, Jonny Gray and yours truly (Jez Kidd). The racers were ably supported by a host of BCC ‘spectatheletes’: IT guy, photographer and all round club supporter Trevor Hill, Men’s Captain Rob Morton, Neil and Charlie Barnes (who was dressed as a Chicken), Tommy and Marie Wong and Baby Ben.

This year’s CCXL has brought us a little bit of everything, and so it was with today’s race, which brought us four seasons in one day, with a double helping of mud. The course wound its way around the Hillingdon road circuit, a familiar venue to any crit racers, but today put to a slightly different purpose. The course started on tarmac before diving onto the grass and a series of tight turns and small rises for a truncated first lap, which brought the race quickly back to the start line and a now extended course which included two short steep drops, with two equally short steep climbs. The race took in off camber sections (resulting in an off camber club secretary on more than one occasion), the obligatory hurdles and tight tracks through trees and bushes. While it didn’t feature as much climbing as some of the previous rounds it more than made up for it with lots of the aforementioned mud which meant plenty of going sideways and running with the bike, with the small number of gravel and paved sections never being quite long enough to get your breath back.

All in all a fantastic race and brilliant fun to be part of.

Provisional Results based on CCXL timing system:

Vets 50+
Robin Lord 38th

Niamh Dempsey 17th
Janice Bell 20th

Senior Men
Mervyn Dempsey 10th
Jonny Gray 18th
Jez Kidd 22nd

I’ve really enjoyed my first season of CX and I’d urge everyone to give it a go, I’m even thinking of training next time 😉

Cyclo Cross – Milton Keynes

As winter weather closes in and December is on the horizon the cyclocross season is in full swing. The British Cycling Central Cyclocross League (CCXL) is BCC’s local league with 15 rounds of races on Saturdays or Sundays all within 1 hours drive of Berkhamsted.

The club has five regular racers and welcome more to join in these events. Some of the people racing cross are there to improve bike handling and keep fitness levels up, just being on the start line is a win. Others are more competitive and are moving up the placings.


There are specific cyclocross bikes but a mountain bike is fine with many riders using them in the races. So far this year the events have been mainly dry but a little mud never hurts. It’s a great way to keep fitness going over the winter and the events always have a great atmosphere. The races are split into age categories, and gridded based on past performance so riders are competing with similar ability riders. There is a regular bunch of spectators that always give lots of encouragement.


Niamh and Mervyn Dempsey are regular competitors, both have been cyclo cross fans for years. Their escapades were sidelined recently with the arrival of son Ralph but both Niamh and Merv are back in the swing of racing.


Following is a race report penned by Niamh from the 17th November 2018 race:

‘Corley cycles hosted round 9 of the central CX season at MK bowl on Saturday. New club secretary Jez Kidd, Jonny Gray and Merv and Niamh Dempsey took on the steep climbs and descents with baby Ralph posing as a keen spectator (soon to be world champion).

Out of a female field of 44 people Niamh came 19th. The boys had a huge field of 93 high level riders. Merv finished an impressive 38th with Johnny putting in an great ride finishing 79th! Jez had his strongest finish yet coming 84th’




If you fancy having a go at cyclocross click here for the list of CCXL events and online entry.

Photo credits to Trevor Hill Molli Keenor Gary Neesam Keith Perry

BCC at Hillingdon Duathlon

Lee and Tommy dipped their toes into a Duathlon event (2 mile Run, 10 mile Cycle, 1 mile run) at Hillingdon on 11th November 2018 and this is their story…


Having done a few duathlons, triathlons and did I mention an Ironman in the past, I thought I’d encourage a few of the purely cycle related athletes of the club to join me in an end of season multi-sport blow out at Hillingdon!

It was a short duathlon, 2 mile run, 10 mile ride finished by a 1 mile run. Mr Wong was the only one that stepped up, having already told me he ran the Manchester marathon in the past, (that in fact wasn’t classed as a marathon as it was 200m short, still a sore point). Other members I asked rolled their eyes at the running aspect, even though the distances were miniscule!

It was wet, windy and early come race morning. Tommy, despite having got lost on the way to the start, spilling a whole mug of coffee in the clubhouse, missing the race briefing, was fully prepared to lose his duathlon virginity. He rocked up with his ex-pro bike and was immediately seen as a threat!

We lined up at the start line for the start of the event, Tommy and I found ourselves stood right at the front. We looked around and we were surrounded by what can only be described as whippet-looking racing snakes doing vigorous warm ups. We subtly drifted to the back, shivering, and waiting for the start gun to sound.

The gun went off and so did the racing snakes, Tommy and I started our leisurely jog at the back but soon realised we were on to beat the 1 mile world record just trying to stay with the pack. The course itself is a closed 1 mile cycle circuit, fairly flat and not too technical, so was a case of counting laps, 2 laps for the first run, 10 laps on the bike, finished with an all-out lap run finish.

I made my way into T1 about 15 seconds ahead of Tommy. I stupidly had some crank/twist mechanism on my carbon cycle shoes so spent an age putting them on. Mr Wong slapped my rear as he entered transition, looking fresh and mischievous.

We both headed out on our 10 lap cycle at the same time proudly sporting the BCC Jersey. Fortunately, I had my strap ons on my Canyon Aeroad (my aerobars). I tucked up in the aero position and powered my way through the brutal head wind whilst noticing Tommy fighting the wind behind me. He’s not used to being so exposed being the expert draft master he is. I opened up a half lap lead by the end of the ride.

Starting the final 1 mile run was a strange experience. In my head and being “metricised” I didn’t see a mile as far, so started out full gas with lead like legs from the bike. When my HR soon went into the high 190’s I decided to reel it back in, conscious that the short distance sprinter Wong would relish a 1 mile lap. I told myself not to look back as I caught a flash of the other BCC jersey in my peripheral vision!

The sun was now beating down as I crossed the finish line. I turned to noticed Tommy rounding the corner only a handful of seconds behind! What a performance for his first multi-sport event and such a huge smile!

We both finished in the top half of the results table, which isn’t too bad seeing I’m 6ft 3in weighing 95kgs and run like a hippo. Tommy is the complete opposite, 5ft 3in weighing 30kgs looking like a graceful gazelle.

Tommy and I felt we needed to share the accomplishment on the club page to encourage multisport, we kindly asked the guy stood next to us to take the picture, but as we handed him the camera he got called up onto the podium to collect his first prize!

Typically us newbies asked the race winner to take our pic! Ha. He kindly returned to us after spraying his champagne to take our snap. How embarrassing?!

We both highly recommend Hillingdon as an entry level duathlon. It’s a closed circuit and there was a real mixed bag of athletes there from seasoned pro’s to complete newbie’s riding MTB’s. Tommy has the taste now. If I can get Tommy in the pool, he can join me at Ironman Barcelona next Oct!! 😊


Just a couple of words from me to add to Lee’s excellent write up, I have been gradually reintroducing myself back into running, mainly in preparation for being a bit more time-poor next year, so the Hillingdon Duathlon seemed like the perfect event to dip my toe in, literally.

Lee failed to tell me that drafting was not permitted until just before the start, which was a bit like telling Messi he can no longer kick the ball with his feet.

Despite this handicap, rain and the nasty headwind, I thoroughly enjoyed the well-organised event and keen to try some more multi-discipline events. I just need to borrow Janice’s armbands.

Big thanks to Lee for talking me through it and cheering me on at the end, it was a fun morning out and the Maccies breakfast afterwards was well earned.

BCC Performance Academy 2018

As 2018 draws towards its latter months it’s a good time to reflect on what has been achieved by our club’s members. Summer is hanging on, just, much later than it has any right to, but even though the days are shorter, the temperatures are still way up above the seasonal norm, meaning it’s still possible to get out and enjoy fair weather riding. Having said that, the summer racing series have closed and we’re heading into the winter crit and cyclo cross season.

Mervyn and Niamh Cyclo Cross

This season has seen more BCC members taking part in competitive events than ever before, with many outstanding results being achieved. Several members have dipped their toes in the waters of competitive cycling for the first time, while others have enjoyed their first taste of the (metaphorical) Champagne.

The club has hosted four main competitive events, across different disciplines, and entered no fewer than three teams in the 9-up team time trial at Silverstone, including our first ever nine-person women’s team. Both of the men’s teams improved on their previous times, while the women set an initial time as a benchmark to build on in the future. Aside from these club events, many members have raced on their own account, flying the BCC colours in crits, road races, triathlons, individual and team time trials and cyclo cross.

9-up Team Time Trial

It seems that hardly a week goes by without large numbers of our club riders completing sportives, with mass participation in the Prudential Ride London 100, a good representation in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and one or two tackling the grueling Dragon Ride, Fred Whitton Challenge and the Maratona dles Dolomites, to name just a few. With a fine spread of club members taking on the Tour of Cambridgeshire – a qualifying round for the amateur world championships – five of their number qualified to represent Great Britain in Italy. We even have our own Ironman, and several who took on and conquered half ironman competitions. Apart from these organised events we’ve had the greatest ever number of our membership heading off to tackle tough rides in all manner of mountain ranges around the world. We have also claimed a new world record. Everyone, it seems, is getting more ambitious and pushing themselves harder and further than ever before. Pretty impressive for a club that’s only four years old.

The year started with the Harp Hilly 100, which BCC won for the fourth year in succession. 51 members braved the chills and hills to bring home the much-coveted shield again, much to the chagrin of other local clubs.

Harp Hilly 100

By April the weather hadn’t improved much, but nonetheless a good crop of club members took part in the Berkhamsted Triathlon. We had individual members competing as solo entrants and we also fielded several teams of three, with overall victory going to BCC’s team comprising Emily Hartwell (swim), Matt Buckle (bike) and Rob Chambers(run). The fastest cycle leg of the day went to our own Simon Pearce, who just pipped Matt Buckle’s time.

Some of the Berko Tri Team

May saw us visit the London Olympic velodrome, as 32 of us descended on the track to take over the venue, giving a fair few their first experience on the banked wooden boards. This was just a fun event, but more than one came away pledging to become accredited on the tracks and take up the sport.

BCC at the London Olympic Velodrome

June witnessed the Berkhamsted Castle Revolutions Festival, a day of crit racing on closed roads, which provided spectacular racing throughout, and a win for one of our members in the hotly-contested men’s novice race. In fact our club members dominated the results, with two podiums, five of the top six places, and seven of the top ten going to BCC. 2nd place in the women’s novice race also went to a BCC club member.

Into August and the BCC Road Race was run on a loop around Mentmore. An expansion from last year came in the shape of a women’s race in addition to the men’s. Across the two competitions we fielded an impressive seven riders, and came away with a win in the women’s Cat 4.

BCRF Volunteers

In September our 10 mile open time trial was revived on the Mentmore Loop, with a good turnout of 23 BCC members on the starting line. Our ladies were narrowly beaten to the Team Shield by Lovelo Cinelli Race Team, but we had a win in the “Athlete” class for standard road bikes. The men’s team went one better and brought home the Team Shield and took an individual bronze medal, while the “Athlete” medal was won by a BCC member, albeit entered under the Lovelo banner.

Which brings us to our last competitive event of the season – our club hill climb, run up Tom’s Hill in Aldbury in late October. A good showing of entrants from several local clubs, and one or two who had come from as far afield as Dulwich came to the start line, and was interspersed with a few of our own lightweight uphill flying machines. Although we didn’t win any prizes today, BCC put on an excellent showing and were roundly applauded and thanked by all those who took part, whose generous appreciation and acknowledgement made it all seem worthwhile.
So, all in all a very satisfactory season for BCC.

Everyone who has taken part in these competitive activities deserves recognition, but there are one or two individuals whose achievements I would like to highlight:

Matt Buckle, for his win in a Cat 3 crit race at Hillingdon. He would have scored a second win, but elected to take the short cut to hospital instead.

James Taylor, who within two weekends went from a Cat 4 racer with zero points to a Cat 3, with a fantastic race in which he just missed the win. He also put in some great time trial performances.

Ben Nixon, for winning in his first ever race, and going on to represent Great Britain in the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Italy.

Simon Pearce, for continually putting in outstanding performances every time he rides. 3rd in his age group (58th overall) in Ride London and 12th overall on Velothon Wales. Another Great Britain representative at the world championships.

Heather Taylor, for her 2nd in the women’s novice race at BCRF and her two triathlon wins.

Janice Bell, winner of the women’s Cat 4 in our road race and the “Athlete” class in our time trial. Also, Janice qualified for, and represented Great Britain in the world championship Gran Fondo.

Lee Morgan, for completing an ironman competition.

The above is just a small selection. Across the board no fewer than 67 of our members have competed in races of one form or another this season. Take a bow – you deserve it.

For photos, reviews and results click here to head over to our Performance Academy News section.

For information on races that the Academy plans to enter click here.

Hill Climb 2018

Berkhamsted Cycling Club Hillclimb, Tom’s Hill, Aldbury. 21st October 2018

Our annual test on Tom’s Hill was held on a crisp, bright Sunday morning which saw the picturesque village of Aldbury bathed in beautiful Autumn sunshine, and views across from the hill tops looking down onto mist-shrouded valleys. It couldn’t have been a better setting for the 36 riders who had come to support our event. The first rider was underway at one minute past nine, and after enduring three minutes’ worth of pain it was all over for him. Although there are no viciously steep inclines on the hill, it is quite challenging, and more than a few competitors mentioned how hard they had found it.
All seemed to have enjoyed the hurt of the competition though, and a steaming but happy throng made their way back to the event headquarters in Musette Cafe for refreshments and the awards ceremony.
Fastest time of the day went to Calvin Cheung from Hub Velo, with a most impressive two minutes and six seconds, while Karine Jones from Verulam Really Moving took women’s honours at two minutes, fifty two seconds. Well done Calvin and Karine. BCC were represented by a small, but perfectly-formed group, who put in some good performances, but fell just short of collecting medals. Next year they have promised to win.
This event has always been run as a B Category “closed” club event, but we are looking at running it as an open event for next year. With a larger field than ever before, and many entrants vowing to come back next year, 2019’s running could be even better.

A great day of racing. Well done riders, volunteers, supporters and Graham for organising the event.

Pictures can be viewed and downloaded (free) from Flickr by clicking the image below…

Berkhamsted Cycling Club Hill Climb 21st October 2018